A Boy Called Christmas

Book review by Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
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Common Sense says

age 9+

Death, gore, peril, and pee in traumatic Santa origin story.

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age 9+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 9+

A very dark Christmas tale.

This is quite a twisted tale about the origins of Santa Claus. While the story is well written, and works well as a read aloud, it is definitely not for sensitive or young kids. As the story opens, we read how Nikolas’ mother was chased by a bear, and fell down into a well all while Nikolas watched. The themes of death and despair run through the whole book. Nikolas is starved by his aunt, thrown in jail by the elves, and looses both parents. One of the elves has turned his newspaper (the only one in town) into a propaganda machine to get himself elected as leader of the elves. While this book is definitely different from what I expected, it did lead to a lot great conversations between me and my 9 year old.

Book Details

  • Author: Matt Haig
  • Illustrator: Chris Mould
  • Genre: Holiday
  • Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Holidays
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Publication date: November 1, 2016
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: December 2, 2021

Our Editors Recommend

For kids who love fantasy and holiday stories

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